This article shows that the Web can be employed to obtain frequencies for bigrams that are unseen in a given corpus. We describe a method for retrieving counts for adjective-noun, noun-noun, and verb-object bigrams from the Web by querying a search engine. We evaluate this method by demonstrating: (a) a high correlation between Web frequencies and corpus frequencies; (b) a reliable correlation between Web frequencies and plausibility judgments; (c) a reliable correlation between Web frequencies and frequencies recreated using class-based smoothing; (d) a good performance of Web frequencies in a pseudo disambiguation task.
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© 2003 Association for Computational Linguistics